Well, the idea itself appears to be amazing. Inzamam-ul- Haq has taken a great initiative for shortlisting 12 of the former great international cricketers who have not been able to become a part of team winning ICC world Cup. In his column for the official ICC website, Inzamam has got all the praise for the Indian cricketing stars. It is interesting to note that Inzamam was part of the 1992 Pakistan World Cup winning team and played a very important role in the semi-final of the tournament against New Zealand to help his team chase a target of 263. It is a great honor that he has incuded three former great Indian cricketers in his team. Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and AnilKumble have become the part of the team selected by Inzamam.
Inzamam has chosen Saeed Anwar and Sourav Ganguly as the openers, followed by Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis at spots No.3 and No.4. Commenting on his former national teammate Anwar, Inzamam said: “Before openers like Matthew Hayden and Virender Sehwag took the world by storm, if one had to pick an opener in one-day cricket, he was the man for the slot. There weren’t many players during his playing days who had batted at a strike-rate of 80 plus with so much elegance and power.”
Inzamam has dedicated India’s progress in ODIs to Ganguly and also described Lara as the finest left-hander ever.He has placed Kallis at par with Garry Sobers, the reknowned greatest all-rounder.
Martin Crowe and Rahul Dravid have been placed at spot the No.5 and No.6 respectively, with Ian Botham suitably kept at No.7. Dravid has been doubled up as a wicket-keeper too. Appreciating former New Zealand captain Crowe, Inzamam said, “I have seen lots of great batsmen, but the batting technique of Martin was far better than most of the rest.”
Anil Kumble happens to be the lone spinner in the team that has got three fast bowlers in Curtly Ambrose, Waqar Younis and Allan Donald. Recollecting the fact that Waqar Yunis was so unlucky to miss out on the 1992 World Cup due to injury, Inzamam said “Great bowler with a bad luck as he had to fly back home from Australia in 1992 due to back injury. I still remember when we landed at Islamabad airport after winning the World Cup, Waqar was there on the truck, crying for not being part of the winning World Cup squad.”
Showering full scale praises on Kumble, Inzamam has written, “A miser leg-spinner, who didn’t like to be hit for runs. Anil was not a big spinner of the cricket ball, but kept batsmen thinking with his superb line and length. Whenever he got favorable turfs, he was there to turn the tables on the opponents. He was probably the only spinner who was not shy of showing aggression like the fast bowlers.”
World’s best fielder, South African Jonty Rhodes completes the side as the 12th man.
Here is the full team picked up by Inzmam-ul-Haq: Anwar, Ganguly, Lara, Kallis, Crowe, Dravid, Botham, Kumble, Donald, Waqar, Ambrose, Rhodes.